Tagged With productivityapplications


Eagle eyed tipster Korian spotted a new Apple store at Myer Brisbane - Level 4, 91 Queen St. As part of the opening they're running demonstration sessions every day Wedneday til Sunday on the following timetable: 10am - making Hollywood-style movies (15 minutes) 12.30pm - It just works. Getting started on a Mac (30 minutes) 4pm - more fun with photos (15 minutes) I spoke with one of the Apple guys from the Brisbane store who said the demos will be an ongoing thing, so if you have questions for an Apple Expert, here's your chance. Thanks for the tip, Korian!


Web site Tape It Off the Internet (TIOTI) is an online television portal designed to help you find and watch your favourite TV shows, either through streaming online video, BitTorrent downloads, or links to purchase the episode or season from iTunes or Amazon. The goal of TIOTI is to make finding and watching your favourite television shows easier than your regular BitTorrent experience—sort of a "non-geek" BitTorrent tracker and then some. TIOTI takes some getting used to, but if you've never been happy with the BitTorrent experience (even after our beginner and intermediate guides), Tape It Off the Internet might be worth a try.


Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Zen Habits had a thought provoking post on the differences between habits and tasks, and how and when you might include habits (or tasks-you-want-to-become-habits) on your to do list. The thing I really appreciated about this post was the idea of identifying or choosing 'triggers' for habitual behaviour:

"I wake up at 4 a.m., after being triggered by an alarm clock. My getting up triggers my habit of starting my coffee and drinking water. Now, I’m using the drinking water as a trigger to exercise."

That gave me a "lightbulb over the head" moment, and an idea for training myself to exercise every day, rather than just three days a week. Yay!

6 Rules for Dealing With Habits vs. Tasks


If you work in a job where you have to estimate work—whether you're a freelance worker, consultant, or regular Joe or Jane Q. Worker who needs to let your boss know how long it'll take to finish a project—you know that a poor estimate can lead to lots of undue stress. The Web Worker Daily weblog offers an introduction to making appropriate and realistic work estimates so you don't end up with this kind of last-minute stress.

Estimate in inch-pebbles, not milestones. When you're faced with a large piece of work to estimate, don't try to come up with a single number to cover the entire job all at once. Break it down into pieces, and then break those pieces down into pieces until the pieces are small enough that you can see how you would do each one and put a number on them. As a general rule of thumb, if the pieces take more than 4 to 8 hours, they're not small enough yet. Most people have trouble guessing their time to perform any job that will take longer than that.

Share the estimation tips and tricks that keep you stress-free and productive in the comments.

Web Worker 101: Estimating Basics


Windows/Mac: Freeware streaming television application Joost has released the 1.0 beta of their snappy, attractive on-demand video player. We took you on a tour of Joost a while back, but since then Joost has seen significant interface upgrades, more content deals, and—most importantly—has dropped the invite-only requirement. If you're looking for a high-quality television experience on your desktop without building your own DVR or rolling your own BitTorrent season pass, Joost is currently the best solution out there. If you've been putting Joost through the paces since we last mentioned it, let's hear how it's been working for you in the comments.



If you're trying to lose a few pounds, self-improvement site Better Life Forum suggests that you'll want to make your goals as definite as possible:

A simple statement like, "I want to lose some weight," is an ambiguous and an indefinite statement. What is important is to be precise on your goals. It would be better if you will set some detailed amount of pounds that you really want to lose. Envisage yourself what you will look like after reaching your desired weight. Doing this will inspire you to lose weight. In fact, maybe even more than what you have planned in mind.

Anything that helps with the difficult process of losing unwanted weight is a good deal—if you've successfully managed to lose pounds, please share what made you successful in the comments.

Staying Motivated to Exercise


Anyone with hard water in their community can relate to the problem of some pretty impregnable stains. Cool Tools has a nifty solution for this:

I used to scrub fruitlessly at toilet bowl rings until one day I tried pouring in some white vinegar (maybe a cup or two) and leaving it overnight. Everything came off in about a minute after that.

The tip goes on to add that if you're in a hurry, you can leave the vinegar in there for as little as twenty minutes; I've gotten this to work on showers and sinks as well.

Tips 23


The BBC's Science and Nature section has an interesting quiz titled the "Sleep Profiler", a quick (took me about 5 minutes) assessment tool you can use to figure out how to make the most of your sleepy time. My quiz results told me that I have a pretty good handle on how much sleep I'm getting, but that I may want to lay off the caffeine late at night—there was actually a whole page of results directed at my unique answers that turned out to be very helpful. So! If you have a few minutes, take the assessment and share your results in the comments.

Sleep Profiler


MPAA 1: IsoHunt 0. Major bit torrent and P2P index site IsoHunt has announced that it has disabled US users from accessing its trackers, due to legal pressure being applied by American movie industry group, the MPAA. This announcement went up on IsoHunt's site yesterday:

"As of earlier today, we have disabled access from users in the US to our trackers, until further notice. This goes for ALL trackers (torrentbox, podtropolis) we run. This is due to the US's hostility towards P2P technologies, and we feel with our current lawsuit brought by the MPAA, we can no longer ensure your security and privacy in the US. So, if you're outside the US, you may notice less peers. We encourage you to add other public, unhampered trackers to torrents you post, in addition to Torrentbox and Podtropolis's trackers."


Wired magazine profiles productivity guru David Allen and offers a good summary of his Getting Things Done system, its history, and some great quotes from The David. First, for folks who say GTD is too complex:

realises that his system can be difficult and that he's often accused of going overboard with elaborate schemes. He responds with a shrug. "Look, the workings of an automatic transmission are more complicated than a manual transmission," he says. "To simplify a complex event, you need a complex system."

The people willing to take on that complex system? They're the ones who know they need help and are trying to improve.


The first national research project to study participants in Open Source in Australia has been launched. The survey, called the Australian Open Source Industry and Community Census, is being conducted by Open Source consultancy Waugh Partners. Pia Waugh blogged about the survey, and why they're keen to hear from as many companies - and individuals - as possible:

"It has an Australian focus specifically so that the final report (which will be freely available to download) will help educate and inform Australian Government, corporates and education about the realities rather than the perceptions of our industry and community locally. Hopefully it will reflect the strength, diversity and opportunities presented by the Australian Open Source industry and community, so everyone needs to stand up and be counted."

Australian Open Source Census taking off!


ExtremeTech has published an overclocking guide for those who want to get every last drop of speed out of their computer. I liked the fact that the article talks you through how to work out which components in your PC are overclockable, and then goes on to explain how to do an 'overall overclocking' of all those components.

But I do have to giggle at an article which starts off saying: "Once upon a time, overclocking was considered a risky and dangerous thing to do... Now, it's almost insane not to." and then goes on to issue warnings like:

"When you overclock a PC, it's never truly stable. The PC was not designed to run with different things at different clock rates that aren't necessarily compatible with each other. What you gain in performance you lose in piece of mind: This thing could crash at any moment."

I guess it's horses for courses. I don't want an Top Gear car which might get insane speeds for a whole 60 seconds before turning into a cartwheeling fireball o'death.. nor does overclocking really appeal to me. I don't have high performance needs, and I don't want to sacrifice reliability. Your mileage may vary, of course. If you overclock I'd be interested to hear why, and how much it affects your system reliability.

ExtremeTech Overclocking Guide


Dried ink on printer cartridges can render your expensive ink unusable, but blogger Bucky decided not to toss the cartridges out and instead soaked the base of the cartridge in WD-40. The result: a cartridge that works again.

I got a brain-storm of an idea the other day and decided to try soaking the base of the cartridge in WD-40 to see if it would soften and clean the dried ink and holy crap - it worked!!! (I soaked it over-night and then wiped it off good before reinstalling it in the printer.)

I had to run the printer through three head cleaning cycles afterward, but it cleared the clogged nozzles and it is now working perfectly.

Since printer cartridges are rather expensive, this tip should help save you money while helping you get the most out of your ink. Thanks, Lacy! AU - WD-40 is a very handy lubricant-cum-fix-all spray you can get in the US - I've found similar stuff here under a different name. Your local hardware store should be able to help you out.

Yet Another Use for WD-40


Windows only: Freeware application Foldr Monitr watches any user-defined folder and automatically uploads any new photos to your Flickr account. After installing the program and authenticating with Flickr, just select the folder you want to monitor and that's that. If you've set Foldr Monitr to start with Windows and point it to your main photo folder, the app will automatically back up all of your new pics to Flickr as soon as they hit your hard drive. I hacked together a similar solution for automatic folder monitoring and uploading to Flickr that works across platforms, but this freeware, Windows-only solution brings a much friendlier user interface and many more advanced options to the process.

Flickr Foldr Monitr


An always-on server can come in all kinds of handy for running automated tasks, syncing your data, remote controlling downloads and acting as a proxy. Lot of us have access to a remote computer—if not a hand-rolled home server, most Lifehacker readers said they couldn't live without their hosted web space—but most of us probably aren't getting everything we can out of it. Check out our top 10 ways to put your remote server to best use.


When you've inherited someone else's PC and want to make it your own, you can change the registered owner's name in the Windows Registry. The How-To Geek runs down the steps; in a nutshell, using the registry editor (Start->Run->regedit.exe to get there), change the RegisteredOwner key value located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion. As always, back up your registry before making changes, just in case.

Quick Tip: Change the Registered Owner in Windows


Does the thought of hiring a virtual personal assistant in Bangladesh for 5 bucks an hour make your skin crawl? Entrepreneur Ryan Norbauer explains how he got over his hang-ups and got super-productive with hired help. He writes:

What is the part of your work (whether personal or professional) that only you can do? And what if you could somehow force yourself to do only that work? In my case, doing precisely this with the help of outsourcing has radically improved my effectiveness.